Pittsfield city officials hope to bring manufacturer to Industrial Park
PITTSFIELD, Ill. (WGEM) - It was a slow start for Industrial Plaza with the first business, Pike County Archery, opening up there more than 20 years ago.
Over the years, however, the parcels in the plaza have been snatched up fast with new businesses.
Beyond the plaza’s cul-de-sac and eastward is Industrial Park with more than 50 acres of open land, Pittsfield’s Mayor Gary Mendenhall said it’s time to make use of it.
“It’s an opportunity zone,” Mendenhall said. “An industry coming in has the opportunity to get funding through private investors which would help them to start their business.”
Mendenhall said the city’s goal is to add a manufacturer to that land, bringing head of household jobs with it.
“That would bring in 130 to 160 jobs,” Mendenhall said. “So, it wouldn’t be a small business by any stretch of the imagination.”
Pike County Economic Development Corporation’s executive director Brenda Middendorf said adding a business like this to the area would benefit the local economy, as head of household workers would bring their families with them, which would fill other job vacancies.
Brewed Coffee House and Eatery’s owner Bob Brewer said the increased manpower would help his and other businesses in the square.
“More workforce is something that’s seriously needed right now,” Brewer said. “Something that’s seriously needed right now. I mean, if you walk around the square, you’ll see every business has a, ‘Now Hiring’ sign.”
Brewer said while he’s on board with the idea, his one main concern is housing.
“When we get over to the housing, right now in Pittsfield, it’s very limited to what we do have,” Brewer said.
Mendenhall said at this time, it’s too soon to know what will go in the space.
“We just have to be ready to jump on the opportunities,” Mendenhall said. “That’s the main thing.”
Mendenhall said right now, the city is in the process of filling out grants to help fund the development while economic developer Ed Knight keeps watch of any interested businesses wanting to take over the space.
Mendenhall said the city estimates developing the site would cost about $4.5 million.
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